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30 Oaks 30 Silver

30 Oaks - 30 Silver

A transmedial project which began in 2022. Planting 30 oak saplings and burying 30 silver coins across 7 locations in the UK, where I lived over a 30-year period from 1982 to 2012.

I re-visited each of seven locations and at each site, planted an oak sapling and buried a silver ten-pence piece for each year that I lived there, acts of contrition towards myself for remaining in a broken and damaging relationship, contrition to the land for the years of carbon damage.

I spent time in mindful/reflective walking, collecting found objects, taking photos and making sketches. Through this process, I explored memories and emotional affect triggered by the location.

The site visits were completed in April 2024, and studio work continues:

I collate the photos and make additional sketches. I explore mythical archetypes [Karl Jung] as a genius loci to embody the memories and impressions of each site, and I create spontaneous poetry drawing multiple themes together.

I create a large work on paper [150cmx150cm], in acrylic and mixed media, with reference to the location, memory, feeling, text and the genius loci.

I bring together the found objects from each site into a small assemblage which becomes a totem - recalling memories, triggering affect, evoking thoughts embedded into my recollections of the site. 

I continue to make additional works relating to the themes and experiences as ways to capture and express the experience. 

David planting the first oak sapling on the Bolehills, Crookes, Sheffield.  


The saplings planted, David begins to bury three 10-pence coins.

Shefflield, Crookes, Bolehills, found objects, marker pen on stationery tag. 10x8cm David Elliott, 2023.

Dreadful Stheno, charcoal, acryilc, graphite on paper. 150x150cm David Elliott, 2023.

Dreadful Stheno

Why cannot rainless Damflask Spring?

Their South-Riding Seven-hills

Are bitter.

For there, Dreadful Stheno

Sapped young Crookes’ BoleHills

As they maze upwards.

And heartbroken

We lived jobless then.

David Elliott 2023

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